1) There was something missing from the whole composition that caused the whole installation to not gel together as one.
2) We have quite a few elements to work with so it is about refining the arrangement of these elements.
3) Comments were to work with any theories that would justify our arrangement.
1) We have decided to change the seats to something more bulbous like the lights.
2) Experiment with more lights stands (of smaller size) and removing the backing of seats.
3) Changed the support of the seats to a tape pipe that splits into 3 to support the seat.
4) Experiment with multiple arrangement and eventually decided to make use of the Fibonacci Number to justify our arrangement.
Starting with some exploration of arrangement:
A, B, C – Fully random arrangement, varying the distance between the light stands too. (TOP VIEW: Darker Green – Lights; Brighter Green – Seats)
D & E – Having 5 light stands in total, positioned to form outline of tree.
F & E – Having seats branching out of the light stands and joining 2 seats to a ‘Y’ shape support. (TOP VIEW: Red – Lights; Yellow – Seats)
We started on mock up after we had some idea on how we want the whole installation to look like, we used some plasticine and wire to make our mock up.
We did realize that the mock up do not look close to what we’ve imagined.
Key issues for this mock-up:
– Lack of resemblance to tree now, more resemblance to tiny plants
– Increase the overall height of the installation
– Introducing the idea of branching out from one to strengthen concept of tree
We did not continue to experiment with the plasticine and wire after this, instead we dive straight in to CAD it out. Meanwhile, one of us will continue experimentation with the type of seat.
For this week, we had refined our proposal, including rendering and a superimposed image to see how it will look like at the site.
To strengthen the North Hall’s identity and repopulating the communal plaza with seating sculptures.
Inspired by the names of the 3 halls: Banyan, Binjai and Tanjong, the tree-shaped seating sculptures aim to encompass the unique characteristics of the above trees respectively; positive outreach, fruitfulness and nurturing. Seats are positioned irregularly to invite spontaneous gathering from the residents. The solar-powered lights provide a warm and comforting ambiance for people to hang out during the nighttime.
Seats for 5 dispensed randomly around the light source. Visual representation of the tree characteristics:
• Banyan – Positive outreach: gradual ascendance from the height of the seats
• Binjai – Fruitfulness: collective mass of seats as a whole
• Tanjong – Nurturing: cradling feeling when seated
Arrangement of the seats are all facing each other, but at the same time also seats are sectioned in a way that users can also be engaged with a smaller group of 3 or lesser.
Light source available here to encourage users to try out the installation even at night. As there is a lack of light source at that area at night, our seating sculptures will stand out from the surrounding and also be a light source for the people passing by.
We are still experimenting with the forms of seat, especially on how we can joined the seating and the back/arm rest. We are also experimenting with how we can connect 2 seats together, or even 3 seats. To enhance the shape of tree, like how branches also intertwine together.
For next week,
We are looking into further enhancing the structure, trying out different seatings.
Last week, we have decided on doing public seating to facilitate more interaction in the Communal Plaza of North Hill Halls. The forms will be inspired by our own interpretation of the trees; Fluidity, Transience & Vitality.
Some feedbacks that we’ve received:
> Prototype that we did was too abstract and hard for viewers to relate it to the 3 trees.
> Motion sensors were too gimmicky and we should keep our idea simple.
> Consider the materials needed.
SOOOOO, for this week…
We did up a PSD Matrix for the values of the trees interpreted by the hall (Fruitfulness, Nurturing & Positive Reach).
We’ve decided to use the characteristic of the trees interpreted by the hall as we want to provide a more accurate representation of the values as compared to what is displayed right now. (Currently, they have the 3 trees planted outside the hall to show the values mentioned.)
From the PSD Matrix, we have decided to combine the elements into ONE sculpture, but it looks kinda messy/rojak. It is also restricting how we can change the aesthetics.
Below are a few ideas for combining all elements into ONE sculpture:
Next we decided to make a series of sculptures reflecting each values instead, but with the same design language.
However, we realised that the values that we are taking on were more of what the halls interpreted the trees to be, instead of what the trees truly are. Hence, we decided to refine the sculptures in such a way that we reflect the unique natural forms of the 3 trees.
Below are the sketches for it:
We are looking into using the similar materials that are currently used in that area so that it won’t be too jarring.
> Dark Wood
> Steel (painted in grey)
> Consider about technology and use. (possibility of adding lights)
> Interaction with people
We had a little site visit last week to check out the 3 trees planted at the new halls.
We got a leaf from each tree to have a closer look and to observe it (shortest leaf – banyan; longest leaf – binjai)
We were pretty amazed by the smell of the leaves of binjai tree 😮 it was a sweet mango smell. After it’s completely dried up, it smells like tea.
Based on last week’s comments, we’ve decided to explore both possibilities of execution of our idea.
1) Hybrid Tree
It was suggested last week that we can look into creating a hybrid tree to show how the 3 trees grow together. We went to do some research on hybrid tree and we came across this artist who created a tree of 40 fruits.
Tree of 40 Fruits – Van Aken
There are 16 of these trees are planted across US. Super-Hybrid tree made through grafting technique (involves joining one part of the plant to another)
We also understood that to create hybrid tree, it’s more like mix and match the fruits, roots and trunk. Methods available are either by grafting or by natural pollination method.
We have decided to not do hybrid tree as we do not see the meaning of having a special tree there as it do not serve any purpose and it will be underappreciated as it will not be phenomenon.
SYMBOLIC WAY OF EXPRESSING
The characteristics of the 3 trees from last week: Fluidity(Banyan); Vitality (Tanjong); Transience (Binjai)
Our idea was to:
“To reflect the spirit/characteristic of the 3 trees in the sculpture and for people there to identify with.”
Based on these 3 characteristic, we done up a matrix to analyse the possible way of executing based on P.S.D (Proportion, Surface & Detail)
This version of matrix was mainly to highlight the possible category that we can use to show the characteristic and from there we tried to loosely come out with some ideas here and there. We also included another category of colours as we find that our concepts can make use of colours to do it too.
We continue to make detailed description of how are we going to execute the characteristic of trees under each category. Based on the new hall’s write up for the trees, each tree have specific representation for the residential living.
Execution for each characteristic:
From all these…
We thought of:
> Having an open shared place for people to come in and interact. > We might not be using the whole tree there (plant the trees there) as it will not be the center of attraction either instead, we are thinking of using the timber/bark of the 3 trees to build the whole installation. > Abstract way of expressing the characteristic – by using the matrix list – either a sculpture or a shelter.
“Mater Matrix Mother and Medium” by Mandy Greer
“Yellow Zinger” by Tim Prentice, sound installation. http://www.timprentice.com/yellow-zingers.html
We will need to finalise on what we want to do (shelter? sculpture?) so we can continue experimenting the forms of the installation.
Continuing from last week’s discussion on “The Infra-Ordinary at North Hills”, we continued to look around the school and observed the student body interaction with school environment.
We realized that NTU is really “green” in terms of how much nature was incorporated into our campus. However, the routine of daily life actually caused us to be “numbed” about this environment.
Another on-site observation was the wind volume at certain areas of NTU. As NTU is located on highland, we can enjoy unobstructed wind at certain part of the campus and this is usually unobvious to people in NTU as it’s intangible.
Hence, we aim to achieve the following for our project:
“Rediscovering Nature Through a Medium”
This is to influence people in NTU to look at nature in another light.
1. Amplifying Intangible Phenomenon in NTU
We were looking into making the intangible phenomenon (in this case will be wind) to be obvious to people. We were inspired by some installations too.
The Singing Ringing Tree
Carefully angled hollow pipes will catch the wind pass through and resulting in some sound to be produced.
The Singing Ringing Tree by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu
Use of holographic materials and hang from a point to another point in an area, allowing it to be floating over the heads of people. Material interacts with sunlight and creates a mesmerizing effect together with the wind.
Liquid Shard by Patrick Shearn
We looked into bringing nature even closer to people and allowing them to see it/hear it. We were looking into creating it as a shelter or sculpture.
2. Nature Man
From the observation of student body in NTU, we realized that it’s natural for majority of them to be walking under shade of trees when give a few routes to choose. It is instinctive for them to do so.
The use of simple modular shapes to create a shelter at a less used pathway and influencing people to come underneath.
Maximilian’s Schell by Ball-Nogues Studio
We were looking into letting people interact with our installation of having vines around a structure. Or having an installation that will influence the way people’s behaviour.
3. Everchanging Flora
Based on our observation, we feel the lack of vibrancy in school environment and it’s mostly green in colour. Hence we would like to incorporate some flora into this environment.
Blooms by John Edmark
The idea was to have a spinning sculpture on a shelter. We want to incorporate Fibonacci Ratio into the creation of a surreal flora. So when the sculpture turns, it will look like the flora is changing.
> They were into the idea of populating unpopular spaces
> The previous idea of the 3 trees at the new halls was more attractive. Suggestions were to find out characteristic of the 3 different trees first.
> Can look into having the trees planted and growing on to some structure at the new halls, so the students will actually care for it and it also symbolises striving.
> Can look into giving new meaning by integrating nature and man too.
As our installation focuses primarily on light pattern to give the visual impact to viewers, we have tried a few light patterns over the past 2 weeks.
*All the GIFs here are the TOP view of one cluster of our installation. As all the stalks are laid in a circular cluster.
1. Circular-Outward Pattern This was one of the first pattern that was proposed. However, as the cluster is top view, having the ripple to start from the center of the cluster will not show how the viewer “impacted” the installation. Hence, this was then modified to another pattern.
2. Linear-Bar Pattern
This pattern will start from the side that the sensor was triggered and the linear bar will move away from the viewers. The interaction part was what we wanted but the linear bar looks too rigid and does not reflect the dynamism of ripples.
3. Ripple-Out (Finalised Light Pattern)
This is the pattern that we want to achieve. With the black dot symbolizing a viewer, and as the black dot gets nearer to the installation, the sensor is triggered and causes this ripple effect.
From here, we thought about what if there are more than 1 person at the installation, as Ilights events will definitely have times that there are more than 1 person at the installation.
This is the light pattern for when more than 1 person is at the installation.
We didn’t want the ripples to just overlap each other and move away, hence we settled with 2 ripples coincides and resultant ripple will continue to move outward. Where the ripples meet will depend on which sensor is triggered first. (Triggered first means the ripple would’ve travelled further before meeting another ripple)
4. Default Pattern
This default pattern is what will be seen when no sensor is triggered at the installation.
The rationale was not to let the installation look too dull and uninviting to viewers when no sensors are triggered. This random scattered lights will look like moving stars from far and we want that to attract viewers to come closer. With the viewers coming closer and at that point that they triggered the sensor and setting off the ripple, it will be like a surprise for the viewers. This was the kind of visual impact that we were going for too.
5. Light Show
During the case that our installation is crowded with people, the sensors will be constantly triggered as it is sensing radial proximity. To ensure that the ripples will not be too uninteresting after sometime when the viewers are walking through, we are looking into having a Light Show when a sensors is constantly triggered for more than 15 seconds. This will act like the 3rd layer of visual to our installation and also to captivate the viewers.
The Light Show are still in midst of development, we will continue to update when the Light Show animation is ready.
In this reading of “Designing for the Digital Age – Goal-oriented Product and service Design” by Kim Goodwin, it gives a clearer view on basically how to design.
Goodwin gave an accurate definition for the word – Design – is the craft of visualizing concrete solutions that serve human needs and goals within certain constraints.
Serving human needs and goals will confuse people on whether human factor and HCI are different from designers. Goodwin raise the criteria to differ both groups of people. Designers will give creative problem-solving solutions whereas people who are trained in human factor and HCI are people with evaluative techniques. I agree with her as the line between designing and making something suitable/comfortable for human can be very vague at times as all our target-audience are human beings. Being trained in human factor will be a bonus for designers as there will be some considerations given to human. Personally I feel that on top of designs are for usability, it is also tackling with emotions that users feel when they uses the product, which is something that thoughtful designs can achieve.
Goodwin also focused on Goal-Oriented Design and the method to it. I agree that a goal-oriented design can maximise the efficiency of the team and also ensuring clear communication with other teammates or client. However, I am not very receptive to the point that she made about pattern. In some way, I feel that having a pattern can seem like a template/stencil for design. Personally, I’ve always felt that a good design should be polished overtime, just like brewing a pot of soup, taking time for the taste and essence to reach the maximum. It will be definitely easier for designers with their “vocabulary”, where they can come out with solution faster and efficiently. However, if every design were to follow certain template then where and when will the breakthrough in design come?
Day 1 – What did I do with my phone?
The first time that I will touch my phone during the day will be to off my alarm, followed by checking for messages. This is the routine for my day.
As I do not have school on Friday, I continued to browse through my social media for a while before I get out of my bed to start my day. I continued to liaise with my friend about the meet up in the afternoon through messaging applications on my phone.
I will also listen to music on my phone and read a book from application on my phone when I am on my way. I realized that most people on the train are looking down on their phones too, some typing on their phone, some playing games and some watching shows on their phones. Only people who are not looking at their phones are slightly older and those who are resting. Even a toddler was watching cartoon in his stroller.
The next time that I was using my phone was while waiting for my food. My friend and I just looked down on our own phone and browsing through, replying messages. We were also occasionally sharing about what we saw on our social media. I realised that not as many people were looking at their phones at the food court as I thought it would be. Most people were chit-chatting with their friends and some were dazing.
I was on my phone all the way at night, on messaging applications and jumping around social media platforms too.
Day 2 – A Day without my phone (as much as possible) (I tried not to use as much of my phone today but it was really hard)
I had to use my phone to wake me up in the morning as I need to be somewhere in the early afternoon. I quickly checked through my phone for important messages and got up to prepare.
I got out of my house without my earpiece so that I won’t be tempted to plug it in my phone. On the way to my destination, I was just looking out of the window and occasionally observing the people around me. There was a mother with toddler who was sitting in a stroller on the train. I was just looking at the little girl and trying to make her smile with my “ghost faces”.
I used my phone a few times to make some calls to check on some stuffs but other than that I didn’t use my phone.
I couldn’t keep myself away from my phone 100% as I needed to run errands. That was when I realized that phone had become irreplaceable in my life. Phone has given me the kind of convenience that i really couldn’t leave without it. I can survive without using my phone as entertainment but definitely cannot do without it when I have to communicate things with people or like quickly search up something.
I tried the second day when I was meeting my friend, I set a meeting time and meeting place the night before and I just turn up at the place the next day. But my friend didn’t turn up until I called her as she didn’t know that I am awake as I didn’t message her. This is interesting how staying connected all the time is needed even when we’ve set the meeting time and place.
Something different when I stayed away from my phone was I have more free time to do my stuffs and I felt like travelling journey is not as boring as what I’ve imagined too. One thing that i feel is really different when i do not have phone will be to plan, like i have to plan in advance. For eg, like i needed address of a place that i am heading to, i will need to find out before i leave house and write it down somewhere first. Usually i will just Google it while i am walking to the nearest MRT station.
This exercise also allows me to truly look out of that screen and observe around me, it is quite interesting and thought-provoking too.
Timothy Nohe was invited to class to share about his experience and his project on “Light City”. His project was very interesting, how it can be adaptable to different input system (music box; tablet). He showed us how a different input system allows many different types of styles to be created and how the target audience can be different too.
It was nice of him to bring his project to our class to give a demonstration to us too. Initially, I felt that the whole set up was quite intimidating as they were objects that seems to be for professionals. Some of my classmate went up to try out the installation and it seems like they really enjoyed it. From the different music that they are making, we as audience are also enjoying the visual music which were the “Electron Drawing” on the little screen.
Timothy Nohe also shared very useful insights to us on doing installation, what we should look out for and what do we really need to be mindful about. Weather surrounding environment etc.